Pirates of the 7th Sea
House Rules 2
You can carry a number of guns at once equal to your Brawn. This is to protect both you and me (you, from trying to light up every Villain you meet as soon as combat starts; me, from having Villains pack a dozen pistols to return the favor).
In a nutshell, the player comes up with 3 friends, 3 foes, and 3 contacts that the character knows, gives a bit of information on them, and that’s it. The best example (as do most of the good examples) comes from Star Wars: Han and Leia are in the middle of nowhere, the Millenium Falcon is beat up and almost out of gas, and they’re trying to hide from the Empire, when Han just happens to see his old buddy Lando is but a few short lightyears away. It gives creative players the chance to create plot for themselves and lets the GM create a richer and better roleplaying environment for everyone. Now I don’t have to stop everything to describe and explain a backstory that you have no real vested interest in, or have some rival that doesn’t really jive with your concept just magically show up; you get to do all that. It’s simple enough that even the laziest and most uncreative players can do it.
Relationship with the PC.
What happened the last time they met.
A quirk or two about the NPC.
So, for our old buddy Lando’s 3×3×3 writeup:
Lando Calrissian/Cloud City/Gambler
Old smuggling partner.
Won the Millenium Falcon from him in a game of Sabacc.
Smooth lady’s man. Pretty much completely untrustworthy.
Simple as that. It doesn’t need a lot of detail, those can come later. In 7th Sea I try to discourage using already created NPCs unless you have a good reason for using them, but other than that, anything goes.